Lions' seventh-round pick returned on tampering-case appeal

The Detroit Lions' seventh-round selection in this year's NFL draft has been reinstated after a hearing on their appeal of sanctions issued for violating the league's tampering policy, the NFL confirmed Thursday.

The Lions instead will lose one pick in the 2012 draft: a sixth-rounder if they make the playoffs and a seventh-rounder if they don't, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Feb. 18 stripped the Lions of their 2011 seventh-round pick (205th overall), acquired in a trade with the Denver Broncos, for publicly commenting on their desire to acquire players then under contract to the Kansas City Chiefs.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out the latest from our bloggers.

Goodell's order that the Lions and Chiefs exchange fifth-round picks in the April 28-30 draft -- Kansas City receiving the round's ninth selection (140th overall) and Detroit the 23rd (154th overall) -- remains intact.

The Chiefs filed tampering charges after Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who was Kansas City's coordinator from 1995 to 2000, told the Detroit Free Press in February 2010 that he wouldn't mind signing players the Chiefs might release.

"(Kansas City) keeps wanting to dump their players. I would like to be there to catch a lot of them because I know a couple of those guys," Cunningham told the newspaper.

The Lions also were cited for impermissible contact with a player (or his agent) then under contract to the Chiefs. According to the Free Press, the player in question was safety Jarrad Page, whom the Chiefs traded last year to the New England Patriots.

Goodell revealed March 22 that an appeal had been filed, although he didn't identify the Lions as the team that had appealed. The Chiefs also could have appealed the ruling.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.